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At Their Fingertips: Putting Your Ads in Their Hands

15 Jan, 2010 By: Patrick Cauley Response


Recently, in the backdrop of a trendy L.A. dive, a popular DRTV campaign illuminated television screens behind the bar. Astonishingly, the spot captivated the crowd amongst the libations. The usual chitchat ensued as patrons debated the quality and merit of the product. One gentleman, who was late to the conversation due to a daunting game of Photo Hunt, curiously asked what the price was. Since the spot had come and gone at that point, people were quick to pull out their smartphones to retrieve information from the product Web site.

This true story could have been about any product — your product. How does your product Web site look when showcased on a Blackberry? Have you ever incorporated a text code into a spot for the busy consumer on the go that would be interested in purchasing from their iPhone? Any campaign’s Internet component should already be well established. However, to get a leg up on the competition, now is the time to implement your mobile strategy.

It’s Go Time!
For starters, it may be best to define what mobile marketing is. The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) recently re-defined mobile marketing as “a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

And there’s never been a better time to test the mobile waters! “Mobile advertising is in its nascent stage (just $416 million in 2009 vs. the $24 billion spent online), thus creating some amazing response rates reminiscent of the early Internet days,” says Timothy R. Hawthorne, founder, chairman and executive creative director of Hawthorne Direct (and a member of the Response Editorial Advisory Board). And establishing a mobile element to a marketing campaign isn’t as arduous as one may think.

Like with any form of marketing, establishing your audience and goals is a good place to start. Eric Harber, Hipcricket’s president and COO, follows a pyramid method that places SMS (text messaging) at the base since it has the widest reach. “We would advise that marketers start with a firm foundation in SMS and then layer on top of that as appropriate,” says Harber (see chart, page 42).

Sixty million devices in the U.S. are utilizing and accessing the mobile Web. However, a staggering 240 million handsets are text capable right out of the box. “A simple engagement SMS campaign, where you can have the mobile phone being the point of engagement that interacts with the television, is a straight forward way to connect with consumers. You have great reach because most people have a device that’s capable and understand how to do it,” he says.

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